‘Don’t trust or be­lieve McCabe,’ TD was told

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - ATTACK ON SYRIA - By Va­lerie Han­ley va­lerie.han­ley@mailon­sun­day.ie

CARPARK MEET­ING

THE first wit­ness was former Public Ac­counts Com­mit­tee chair­man John McGuin­ness, pic­tured. He said he had met the then Garda com­mis­sioner in a car park in Jan­uary 2014. Mr Cal­li­nan had told him that Sgt Mau­rice McCabe was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for child sex­ual abuse and was not to be trusted. (An al­le­ga­tion of his­toric sex­ual abuse was made against Sgt McCabe in 2006; the mat­ter was in­ves­ti­gated and the DPP di­rected there should be no charge.)

The TD claimed that Mr Cal­li­nan de­scribed Sgt McCabe as a ‘kid­die fid­dler’. ‘This was a meet­ing ar­ranged by the com­mis­sioner,’ Mr McGuin­ness said. ‘It was be­ing sug­gested that there was a live file… It was no longer a ru­mour; it was some­thing pre­sented as fact. I was quite shocked and I wasn’t in a po­si­tion to take on the com­mis­sioner.’

Cru­cially, Mr McGuin­ness’s state­ment has been backed up by a let­ter from Micheál Martin, who said Mr McGuin­ness told him about the meet­ing shortly after­wards. Mr Cal­li­nan has claimed – in a state­ment sub­mit­ted to the tri­bunal – that it was Mr McGuin­ness who raised Sgt McCabe’s mo­ti­va­tion at their car park meet­ing.

‘NOT TO BE TRUSTED’

FINE Gael TD John Deasy, pic­tured, told the tri­bunal on Tues­day that he was warned that Sgt McCabe was not to be ‘be­lieved or trusted’.

He said these re­marks were made by Mr Cal­li­nan dur­ing a brief en­counter in Le­in­ster House just be­fore the com­mis­sioner’s PAC ap­pear­ance. Mr Deasy was a mem­ber of PAC when the com­mit­tee was prob­ing the wide­spread quash­ing by gar­daí of penalty points for traf­fic of­fences. He said he ‘couldn’t be­lieve’ a Garda com­mis­sioner would make such com­ments about a serv­ing mem­ber of the force: ‘[He said] Mau­rice McCabe was not to be be­lieved or trusted with any­thing. It took my breath away.’

FALSE IN­FOR­MA­TION

SO­LIC­I­TOR Gerald Kean, pic­tured, gave ev­i­dence on Thurs­day. He re­called phone con­ver­sa­tions with Mr Cal­li­nan prior to Mr Kean be­ing a pan­el­list on RTÉ Ra­dio 1’s Mar­ian Fin­u­cane Show in Jan­uary 2014. Ear­lier that week, Mr Cal­li­nan had made his ‘quite dis­gust­ing’ re­mark at the PAC hear­ing. By the time the pro­gramme aired, Mr Cal­li­nan had met Mr McGuin­ness in the car park. Mr Kean said the com­mis­sioner told him that Sgt McCabe had not co-op­er­ated ‘in any shape or form’ with an in­ter­nal in­quiry into the penalty points sys­tem; that he was ob­struc­tive and had breached the Data Pro­tec­tion Act. How­ever, Sgt McCabe was never asked to co-op­er­ate with the in­quiry.

Mr Kean re­peated the in­cor­rect in­for­ma­tion on the Mar­ian Fin­u­cane Show. Fol­low­ing these com­ments, Sgt McCabe took a li­bel ac­tion, which was set­tled last year. Mr Kean told the tri­bunal: ‘I be­lieved the com­mis­sioner was some­body beyond re­proach. I was rep­re­sent­ing my own views but very much based on the in­for­ma­tion that was in the public do­main since Oc­to­ber and the in­for­ma­tion given to me by the com­mis­sioner.’

Mr Kean later wrote to Mr Cal­li­nan and en­closed a com­plaint from Sgt McCabe. Com­ments from Mr Cal­li­nan were in­cluded in Mr Kean’s writ­ten re­ply to Sgt McCabe.

‘SEX­UAL OF­FENCES’

COMPTROLLER and Au­di­tor Gen­eral Sea­mus McCarthy, pic­tured – who started the mo­tor­ing penalty points probe in 2012 – gave ev­i­dence on Fri­day. He said Mr Cal­li­nan told him that Sgt McCabe was not to be trusted; had ques­tions to an­swer, and was at the cen­tre of sex­ual of­fences al­le­ga­tions.

He claimed these re­marks were made just be­fore the com­mis­sioner’s PAC ap­pear­ance in Jan­uary 2014.

The Dis­clo­sures Tri­bunal re­sumed with a bang this week – par­tic­u­larly for former Garda com­mis­sioner Martin Cal­li­nan, left. Led by Jus­tice Peter Charleton, the tri­bunal is in­quir­ing into whether there was an or­ches­trated smear cam­paign by se­nior gar­daí...

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